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Besides strength, a football player needs agility, stamina and endurance. Being overweight diminishes those qualities. Playing football also calls for quick bursts of energy, and carrying too much weight can slow a player and reduce his effectiveness on the field. Getting a football player to lose weight requires diet modification and an increased emphasis on certain forms of exercise. The timing of the weight-loss program is important, too, because a player needs to focus on the sport during the season. A player also needs positive reinforcement to help make the weight-loss program a success.
Plan the football player's weight reduction to coincide with the offseason. During the preseason and the season, the player needs to concentrate on honing his skills for competition, not shedding pounds. The months during which a player is free from training camp, exhibition games and the actual season should be long enough to make a significant dent in his weight.
Create a calorie deficit -- between 300 and 500 fewer calories than the player's diet requires for weight maintenance. Some ways to do this are eliminating condiments and sugary snacks, diluting juices with water and drinking diet soda. Ensure the player eats smaller portions, as well.
Reduce consumption of fats because they do not supply the fuel to build muscle. Leslie Bonci, director of sports nutrition at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center and sports dietitian for the Pittsburgh Steelers, emphasizes that players should eat carbohydrates, but ensure they are low in fat. "An ideal diet for football players requires 55 to 60 percent of their daily caloric intake to come from carbohydrates, 15 percent from protein, and 30 percent from fat," she says.
Sprint several times for very short intervals -- between 10 and 30 seconds. These sprints promote significant fat loss, especially between workouts. Vary the distance to avoid boredom. A football field is a good locale for sprints because it's easy to measure each one.
Increase strength training because that increases your body's muscle mass and increases your metabolism. As a result, you'll even burn more calories while you're at rest.
- Set realistic goals and work with a sports nutritionist if you need guidance on a weight-loss plan.